Applications
Agriculture and Farming

Agriculture and Farming

Overview

Agriculture and farming workplaces involve much dangerous work and heavy labor which relies on human hands due to the difficulty of mechanization. A shrinking agriculture labor force has meant that each worker is required to cover a wider area than ever before. However, many of these tasks require special skills that only experts have, such as operating tractors, which hinders the increase in personnel. This is also the case in livestock raising facilities.

In response to this, efforts are currently underway to solve problems in agriculture and livestock and improve work efficiency by utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as robots, AI, and IoT. Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation (SSS)'s various image sensors and OLED Microdisplays play an important role as key devices for such systems.

Applications

Sorting fruits and vegetables

The sorting work performed before shipping fruits and vegetables is a laborious task, but it is also an area where mechanization can dramatically improve efficiency. Since the SWIR image sensors can detect the moisture contained in the substance, they visualize not only the size and shape of fruits and vegetables but also scratches and moisture accumulated near the epidermis of fruits that are invisible to the naked eye.

Sorting fruits and vegetables

Observation of agricultural lands

In the current agriculture, cameras are used to take pictures of farmland from the sky. By accurately grasping the growing status of crops, it is possible to perform limited topdressing and yield prediction based on data. However, it is not easy to judge the growth status of crops only from the color information of the captured images. By utilizing SWIR image sensors that can detect the presence of water, it is possible to visualize the growth situation and distribution of crops, which would greatly contribute to the appropriate judgement.

Observation of agricultural lands

Glasses for fertilizer-spraying/scattering drone piloting

Drones are increasingly being used to spray or scatter fertilizer in fields, etc. The advantage of using drones is that fertilizer can be sprayed or scattered uniformly and quickly over a wide area. Glasses (head mounted display) capable of checking the drone field of view must be lightweight, and offer high image quality, and the adoption of OLED Microdisplay has been increasing.

Glasses for fertilizer-spraying/scattering drone piloting1
Glasses for fertilizer-spraying/scattering drone piloting2

Support for harvesting in farming and agriculture

ToF image sensors are three-dimensional image sensors that can precisely detect the depth information which is difficult to handle with RGB sensors. They are utilized as key devices of robots for milking dairy cows and picking and harvesting fruits, which traditionally relied on manual labor.

These sensors are also suitable for monitoring the body shape and walking style of livestock, the amount of feed consumed, etc., and contribute to quality control and productivity improvement. In the agricultural sector, these sensors will assist the automatic operation of agricultural equipment by three-dimensional monitoring.

Support for harvesting in farming and agriculture

Livestock monitoring

Despite the increasing problems associated with rising population and food shortages, the working population has been decreasing every year. In response, there has been a significant shift toward smart farming using IoT to address these issues.

Combining SSS’s SPRESENSE™ board computer for IoT’s GNSS positioning technology supports multiple satellites signals while running on continuous low power consumption, can be combined with AI technology to monitor livestock more precisely, making it possible for farmers to raise their animals more safely and efficiently.

In addition to being compact, lightweight, and durable, trackers fitted to livestock, cattle, etc., must be capable of accurate location positioning and have long battery life. Using SSS’s GNSS receiver LSIs, GNSS devices satisfy location tracking requirements. Monitoring the movement of livestock using trackers will help prevent lost animals and assist with locating them when missing. Moreover, by recording and analyzing livestock behavior, trackers can be used for pastureland management.

Head mounted display for ultrasonography in livestock raising facilities

The usefulness of head mounted displays for ultrasonography work used to check the health of livestock is gaining much attention. The reason for this is that projecting diagnostic images onto a head mounted display frees the hands to carry out other work. Head mounted displays are useful for ultrasonography work in order to check the health of livestock.

Head mounted display for ultrasonography in livestock raising facilities

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